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  • #97304 Reply
    AG

      Australian Whistleblower David McBride To Be Sentenced

      https://scheerpost.com/2024/05/08/whistleblower-david-mcbride-to-be-sentenced/

      “McBride, a former military lawyer, was charged with stealing government documents and giving them to journalists at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which revealed covered-up murders of unarmed civilians by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. A four-year government inquiry later found 23 possible war crimes, including the murder of 39 Afghans.”

      #97528 Reply
      AG

        “By 2014 McBride had compiled a dossier into profound command failings that saw examples of potential war crimes in Afghanistan overlooked and other soldiers wrongly accused.

        On Tuesday he was sentenced to nearly 6 years in jail.”
        May 16th 2024

        https://consortiumnews.com/2024/05/16/john-kiriakou-the-heroism-of-david-mcbride/

        #97680 Reply
        Clark
          #98513 Reply
          AG

            Sry for this dumb question but concerning criticism of German media and discussions I am having in Germany:

            Would it be safe to say that the allegation that Assange had expected that Trump could possibly make him Australian Ambassador is a lie?
            Because Assange either said such a thing or not. I wrote earlier this year that I already had had aguments over this eventually lashing out against people since I lost my patience.

            #98528 Reply
            ET

              “Assange had expected that Trump could possibly make him Australian Ambassador”

              If you search the above term you’ll find a number of references to wikileaks alleged correspondence via twitter with Donald Trump junior one of which was suggesting Trump pressure the Australian government to appoint Assange as Australian ambassador to Washington.(Allegedly)
              How true that is I’ve no idea.

              #98726 Reply
              AG

                thx ET

                I had assumed with Craig bing the expert there is a definite answer to this question that I had missed, simply because as I said this kind of “rumour-ing” hurts Assange´s case in the eye of the ordinary public more than the legal experts might think.
                For the court case this, I hope, is of no significance. But I was upset since it was part of a major, authoritative newspaper report about the case.

                p.s. A strangely interesting text on Assange yesterday in The American Conservative.

                Interesting because it raises questions of profound importance.
                Strange because it doesn´t raise the other half: What about the government?

                Van Buren, the auhtor, appears to believe its the citizens have to justify their actions in front of the government not the other way around.

                Which eventually is the gateway to a fascist state concept. But Van Buren – who eventually of course defends Assange – does not go all the way – which is however the discussion we ought to conduct in the broad public.

                WHAT ARE GOVERNMENTS´ RIGHTS? AND WHERE DO THEY ORIGINATE?

                This has completely escaped media in recent years. Power ought to come from the bottom. Not the top.

                “Will the First Amendment Save Assange?
                The UK has extracted promises that prosecutors would recognize speech protections for the Wikileaks founder.”

                by Peter Van Buren
                https://archive.is/dQT1t
                or
                https://www.theamericanconservative.com/will-the-first-amendment-save-assange/

                “(…)
                Yes, the Pentagon Papers case rejected a government effort to enjoin publication, but several of the Justices in their separate opinions specifically suggested that the government could prosecute the New York Times and the Washington Post after publication, under the Espionage Act.”
                The Supreme Court left the door open for the government to prosecute both the leaker (by dismissing the Ellsberg case without setting a precedent) and the journalists (with a narrow focus prohibiting the government from exercising prior restraint on the Times.)
                What has happened since has been little more than a dance around the 500 pound gorilla loose in the halls of democracy.
                (…)”

                And some flawed argument:

                “(…)
                Did Assange commit journalism? He wrote nothing alongside documents on Wikileaks, did no curating or culling, and redacted little information. Publishing in his case consisted simply uploading what had been supplied to him. It would be easy for the government to frame a case against Assange that set precedent he is not entitled to any First Amendment protections — clicking upload isn’t publishing and Assange isn’t a journalist they could say. The simplest interpretation of the Espionage Act, that Assange willfully transmitted information relating to the national defense without authorization, would then apply. Guilty, the same as almost all of the leakers and other canaries in the D.C. coal mine.
                (…)”

                Which however raises the question: What is “traditional” journalism? (What´s the idiotic idea of traditional vs. non-traditional.? That is total nonsense.)

                Van Buren doesn´t really answer the question which he provokes in his musing.

                Instead:

                “(…)
                Yet like the Times, Wikileaks sidestepped the restraints of traditional journalism to bring with immediacy the raw material of history to the people. That is the root of an informed public, through a set of tools never before available until the Internet and Julian Assange created them.
                (…)”

                The main issue is that these questions have to be answered definitely. Because if they are being raised in the TNC now they are going to be part of upcoming “lawfare” too that will be utilized against future journalists. The scaremongering will not work forever and a young generation will follow in Assange´s foot steps. How will they be treated?

                #98791 Reply
                AG

                  THE NATION from its archive with a 2010 text by Jeremy Scahill on Wikileaks:

                  “WikiLeaking Covert Wars
                  The latest WikiLeaks dump has corroborated, in part, what sources recently told The Nation about covert military actions in over seventy-five countries.”

                  by Jeremy Scahill

                  Dec. 9th 2010
                  https://archive.is/sCBLf

                  #99053 Reply
                  Chris
                    #99054 Reply
                    Chris

                      “Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, agreed to plead guilty on Monday to a single felony count of illegally disseminating national security material in exchange for his release from a British prison, ending his long and bitter standoff with the United States.”

                      #99055 Reply
                      AG

                        thx Chris
                        here the complete NYT:
                        https://archive.is/eYe4G

                        #99058 Reply
                        justin

                          Here’s the announcement from the UK state broadcaster:

                          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/crgggyvp0j9o

                          “Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will plead guilty to US criminal charges as part of a deal that allows him to go free, according to court documents.

                          Assange, 52, was charged with conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information. For years, the US has argued that the Wikileaks files – which disclosed information about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars – endangered lives.

                          He has spent the last five years in a British prison, from where he has been fighting extradition to the US.

                          According to CBS, the BBC’s US partner, Assange will spend no time in US custody and will receive credit for the time spent incarcerated in the UK.

                          Assange will return to Australia, according to a letter from the justice department.

                          The deal – which will see him plead guilty to one charge – is expected to be finalised in a court in the Northern Mariana Islands on Wednesday, 26 June.

                          His attorney, Richard Miller, declined to comment when contacted by CBS.

                          He and his lawyers had long claimed that the case against him was politically motivated.

                          In April, US President Joe Biden said that he was considering a request from Australia to drop the prosecution against Assange. US prosecutors had originally wanted to try the Wikileaks founder on 18 counts – mostly under the Espionage Act – over the release of confidential US military records and diplomatic messages related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

                          Wikileaks, which Assange founded in 2006, claims to have published over 10 million documents in what the US government later described as “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States”. In 2010, the website published a video from a US military helicopter which more than a dozen Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters news reporters, being killed in Baghdad.

                          One of Assange’s most well-known collaborators, US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, was sentenced to 35 years in prison before then-president Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.

                          Assange also faced separate charges of rape and sexual assault in Sweden, which he denied.

                          He spent seven years hiding in Ecuador’s London embassy, claiming the Swedish case would lead him to be sent to the US. Swedish authorities dropped the case in 2019 and said that too much time had passed since the original complaint, but UK authorities later took him into custody. He was tried for not surrendering to the courts to be extradited to Sweden.”

                          #99062 Reply
                          Darío
                            #99063 Reply
                            AG

                              thx Dario,

                              so he actually already left “under the cover of the night”.

                              Lets hope he will find the energy and help to recover one day.
                              Wonder if the RUs will react to this…but as legalistic as they are, I guess not.

                              Still, wow.
                              And I assume Craig was in the picture all the time forced to keep quiet.

                              #99065 Reply
                              Brendan

                                Julian is free!!!!

                                Words cannot express our immense gratitude to YOU- yes YOU, who have all mobilised for years and years to make this come true. THANK YOU. tHANK YOU. THANK YOU.

                                Follow @WikiLeaks for more info soon…pic.twitter.com/gW4UWCKP44
                                — Stella Assange #FreeAssangeNOW (@Stella_Assange) June 25, 2024

                                #99066 Reply
                                Brendan

                                  My previous post was copied from twitter.

                                  #99070 Reply
                                  Oscar

                                    A word of caution from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

                                    “Are we celebrating too early? Does the court have to accept the please deal, or increase the sentence? if they don’t that would leave him is US custody”- Coz

                                    Nothing is certain until it happens and there’s a lot we still don’t know about how Julian Assange’s case will proceed.

                                    A lot of our understanding at this stage is coming from the court documents, which state that he’ll appear before a judge in Saipan at 9am local time tomorrow.

                                    An email from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the judge in the Northern Mariana Islands states that Assange is expected to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information, and that he’ll be sentenced for that offence.

                                    American media outlets are reporting that the plea deal would need to be approved by the judge, and WikiLeaks has described the agreement as having “not yet been formally finalised.”

                                    But Assange’s departure from the UK is a massive development in the case, and the court document says the DOJ expects he’ll return to Australia “at the conclusion of the proceedings”.

                                    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-06-25/parents-of-julian-assange-react-to-son-released-from-prison/104018140

                                    #99080 Reply
                                    AG

                                      An entry by Matt Taibbi, although preview only:

                                      “Assange is Free, But Never Forget How the Press Turned on Him
                                      The Wikileaks head is finally out of prison. A look back at some of the comments that kept him inside”
                                      Matt Taibbi
                                      Jun 25, 2024

                                      https://www.racket.news/p/assange-is-free-but-never-forget

                                      #99083 Reply
                                      AG

                                        German comment by David Goessmann, who in general tries to do some decent reporting, which has become a rare feat in German media:

                                        auto-translation:

                                        “The freedom of Julian Assange: Good news in dark times”
                                        26 June 2024
                                        by David Goessmann

                                        https://www-telepolis-de.translate.goog/features/Die-Freiheit-von-Julian-Assange-Gute-Nachricht-in-dunklen-Zeiten-9777750.html?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=de&_x_tr_pto=wapp

                                        “When I heard the news on the radio yesterday morning that Julian Assange was on his way to freedom, I felt a sense of relief and joy. This also has a personal touch.

                                        Meeting with Stella Assange

                                        I met his wife, the lawyer Stella Assange, four weeks ago at the Re:publica in Berlin. In an interview there, she told me that Julian Assange’s health was getting worse and worse.”

                                        #99085 Reply
                                        AG

                                          Today´s prominent piece on Assange by German MP Sevim Dagdelen
                                          auto-transl.

                                          BERLINER ZEITUNG

                                          “Finally freedom for Julian Assange: He is a hero of our time
                                          It is thanks to committed supporters that Julian Assange has now been released. That gives hope. A guest article.”

                                          Sevim Dagdelen
                                          25.06.2024

                                          https://archive.is/M1sdb

                                          “Julian Assange is a hero of our time. Like no other, he risks his life and his freedom in the fight for the freedom of all. It is true that the journalist is being persecuted for publishing war crimes , while none of the war crimes he made public are being atoned for. Nor are those who covered up these war crimes being prosecuted, and certainly not those who, like US President George W. Bush or British Prime Minister Tony Blair, launched the illegal war of aggression against Iraq based on lies.”

                                          “Julian Assange’s freedom is the freedom that has yet to be won. Yesterday made it clear that it is possible and that we should fight for it without ever losing hope or giving up.”

                                          p.s. Presumably the expression “Hero of our Time” goes back to Russian writer Mikhail Lermontov´s adventure novel of the same name.

                                          #99087 Reply
                                          Brendan

                                            Julian appears well nourished.

                                            #99162 Reply
                                            AG

                                              On the US Postal Service spying on its own population.

                                              (I wasn´t sure where to post this, either here or under the Twitter/Russiagate thread – but I think it´s important enough to post it in any case since it´s very little talked about.)

                                              “Somehow, a quasi-government agency that spies on individuals with no probable cause or due process, in a haphazard manner that offers no recourse for the people being targeted, doesn’t seem constitutional.”

                                              JOHN KIRIAKOU: US Postal Service’s Attack on Privacy
                                              June 28, 2024

                                              https://consortiumnews.com/2024/06/28/john-kiriakou-us-postal-services-attack-on-privacy/

                                              “In a May 2023 letter to the director of the Postal Service, a bipartisan group of senators urged the USPS to require a federal judge to approve requests to spy on people’s mail, rather than to just approve or deny the request internally. (Almost none of the 158,000 requests between 2011 and 2015 or the 312,000 requests since then have been denied.)”

                                              “Perhaps an even more disturbing aspect of the program is the fact that between 2000 and 2012, the Postal Service initiated an average of 8,000 mail cover requests per year. But in 2013, that number jumped to 49,000.

                                              Why? Nobody knows and the Postal Service doesn’t have to say.”

                                              #99164 Reply
                                              AG

                                                A few links initiated by this text by I.F. Stone biographer DD Guttenplan on Assange, in THE NATION:

                                                “What Would I.F. Stone Think of WikiLeaks?
                                                America’s greatest investigative journalist believed in letting the truth be told, even over the protest of state officials. But what would he make of WikiLeaks’s secret-telling?”
                                                https://archive.is/6JDXH

                                                “Upton Sinclair and the Contradictions of Capitalist Journalism”
                                                May 1st 2002
                                                https://monthlyreview.org/2002/05/01/upton-sinclair-and-the-contradictions-of-capitalist-journalism/

                                                “Journalism, Democracy, … and Class Struggle”
                                                by Robert W. McChesney
                                                Nov. 1st 2000
                                                https://monthlyreview.org/2000/11/01/journalism-democracy-and-class-struggle/

                                                Wiki on Upton Sinclair´s “THE BRASS CHECK”
                                                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Brass_Check

                                                #99172 Reply
                                                Fat Jon

                                                  Yes, Brendan, I thought that as well. In fact when I saw the footage of him walking towards the aircraft at Stansted initially I assumed it must be a fake.

                                                  I was expecting a frail individual who had difficulty walking without assistance, after all the health reports describing his deterioration in Belmarsh; and that the authorities were trying to kill him via neglect.

                                                  How many of the Belmarsh reports were exagerrated for effect?

                                                  #99189 Reply
                                                  AG

                                                    Excess weight in US prisons is a major factor in mortality rates due to health issues.
                                                    In fact a sportiv Assange would have meant a better chance to survive. But something tells me CIA didn´t consider him your normal US felon. This was “personal.” So no one should be deceived by looks.

                                                    #99440 Reply
                                                    Clark

                                                      I see that Anna Ardin has come out:

                                                      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cd1jgv3knnwo

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